lost but not found

Well…since the last time I blogged, I’ve lost a kidney stone, Josiah lost a tooth, Maya lost her fro and Bart lost his job.  It’s been quite a month, if I do say so myself.

About two weeks ago, I felt a stomach ache coming on and by the middle of the night I was convinced it was appendicitis and decided to drive myself to the ER (it was easier than waking the kids and taking everyone there).  So there I sat at 4am, waiting for a CT scan and drinking way too many liquids to prepare for it, staring at a wall and trying to overhear the latest ER staff drama.  I declined pain meds just in case I needed to drive back home due to a false alarm, so those 4 hours went by v.e.r.y s.l.o.w.l.y.  However, when the dr. finally returned with my results- I got rushed out there faster than ever, which was great.  So yes, a kidney stone was causing some lovely pain…not as bad or the same as 15 years ago when I had one, which is why I didn’t realize I was passing another kidney stone…but awful enough.  I drove myself to the pharmacy and by that time I was a tad hunched over and probably looked dire enough that the pharmacist filled my pain med prescription in record time and I was climbing into my bed soon after…where I frequented often for the next week.  All’s well now.  Phew.

Josiah lost a tooth yesterday, one that he’s been wiggling for soooooo long.  I was dreading it because I have a horrible record as tooth fairy performer…as in I’m pretty sure the last one he lost (he’s lost at least 8 teeth already) I said just leave on the counter because the tooth fairy isn’t psyched on using stairs.  hehe.  Anyway, after enduring a painfully over-televised swimming olympic evening I flopped into bed so exhausted, which of course, turned into laying awake for over an hour… but thankfully about 45 minutes in I remembered my tooth fairy deeds and sprinted downstairs to find a prize.  I settled on two dollars- way more than we’ve ever given but I was tired and didn’t want to search for coins.  A minute later I found myself arm deep under my son’s head and his giant stuffed bear that duels as his pillow.  My heart pounding as I literally was moving his head around to find the baggy containing his tiny tooth…and thought perhaps I’d just say the tooth fairy had changed his policy and was now leaving teeth as memorabilia.  Finally, my fingers hit plastic and I made the switcheroo flawlessly- for the FIRST TIME EVER.  Upon returning to bed, I had to text someone and get some props…my sister is always good for a nice pat on the back- I got my gold medal.

I’ve been staring at my dearest daughter’s head for a few weeks now, knowing I needed to make a change…the crazy freestyle fro was slowly turning into matted dreads and whole flattened areas- a disaster.  After spending 45 minutes massaging her scalp with several different conditioners and moisturizers and brushing through every last strand, I bit the bullet and went for pig tails.  I’ve always felt like I had some freedom with her hair because it’s different than full blown African American hair- it is softer and looser- hence why I’ve not inducted her into the bonding time that is mother/daughter hair care.  But this week I realized it’s gotta happen.  I cannot let her hair go free anymore.  It’s not right.  Soon enough I will find someone who can tackle braids or something fancy, but for now this just means enduring tears on the regular, perhaps from us both.

And last but not least…my dearest husband is now unemployed.  I’m sure most of you just skipped through the rest of this post (how rude! jk) so I’ll get right to it.  Bart’s company offered him a promotion this week, which included a move to North Carolina…super exciting, shocking, but very generous.  His job is how God moved us out to NJ four years ago and has been such an amazing gift to our family for the last 8 years but we clearly heard God prompting us to say no to this incredible offer.  In effect, this meant there wasn’t a job left for Bart anymore.  We feel such a peace about the decision and are so grateful for His leading…it’s exciting to see what’s next and so far, we are feeling really good.  We have no idea what’s next…no clue…we fully believe that just because God said no to NC with Ivy doesn’t mean He couldn’t say yes to some other place, but who knows?!   We are very expectant and feeling lots of grace to trust Him in this right now.  Pray for us, and for Bart to find a job…it’s kinda important in this day and age. Until then, I’m really really enjoying having him around all day, err day.

I couldn’t think of anything Regan’s lost, which is why I left him out of this post.  He is praying daily for his teeth to fall out, which I keep trying to explain will happen in their own time…alas.  He just wants the treats. I’m not sure I can keep going with this tooth fairy mirage- I get overwhelmed thinking about how many teeth are going to fall out in the next ten years.  Oh dear.  Could I create a tooth fairy house?  Put your tooth in there and in the morning, check it…it’s where she sleeps and since she’s overworked, it’s kinder to just leave it at her house instead of making her fly to us every time.  Yeah?  And I know what some of your are thinking…we don’t do santa or the easter bunny…how’d the tooth fairy weasel in?  Five words:  my dad is a dentist.

we found dory

OMG.  I figured it would be fun to write a follow-up post to describe how awesome last night was.  Josiah might have asked when Brielle (our babysitter) was coming, about 50 times yesterday so needless to say we were very ready to go at 6pm when she rolled in to watch Maya for the evening.

As we parked, the boys asked if this was a movie theatre…the great part is that the one we chose is under construction so there were only 4 movies showing and only a small crowd to weave through.  After spending too much on popcorn (and the boys in awe of the snack bar) we headed in to theatre two, only to be surprised that it had already been redone and we scored the sweet recliner seats!!

It was the cutest, from the moment we walked in 15 minutes early… the boys were enamored with the giant screen and kept looking at us and each other in amazement.  So fun.  I handed out their treat bags and popcorn and the trailers began.  This is the only part that was annoying…who thinks Ghost Busters and Finding Dory compare?!  I mean, seriously?  Poor Jos literally turned his head and closed his eyes through the whole thing and I distracted Regan for most of that preview.  Lame.

But from then on…it was awesome.  Regan squealed with sheer delight the first time he saw Dory on screen and Josiah couldn’t ever take his eyes off the screen, for almost the entire movie.  And the movie is SO GOOD.  As in, laugh-out-loud, sweet, great story line, clean, adorable AMAZING.  The new characters are awesome…I had gotten a few of them in stuffed animal versions for the boys last week, so they were excited to see them “in real life”. Ha.

When the credits rolled, I told Bart we had to wait because there was probably a little show at the end, but wasn’t sure since the credits took a long time…so we thought we’d just go but that’s when Regan bursts into tears.  “I. don’t. want. to. go” he exclaimed very loudly and I didn’t exactly blame him.  It was an epic night…who would want that to end?  So we stayed a little longer because he really wanted to keep watching.  And sure enough, at the very very very end the old characters from Finding Nemo show up- it was quick but cute.  And then he reluctantly but willingly stood up and we walked out.

I’m so glad we waited to take the boys to their first movie until this one.  It was perfect.  They are at great ages (4 and 6) to really appreciate the experience as a special incredible adventure…and the bonus was that I really enjoyed the movie just as much as the kiddos.  Of course, I loved the way their eyes sparkled at the excitement of it all and that definitely made it a memory we’ll never forget.

Ok. I’m going a little over the top now.  But if you knew how much our kids have been obsessed with Finding Nemo then you’d know- over the top is the only way we’d be with it’s sequel.

*terrible photos but we were loving it so much i almost forgot to take any… oh well!

movie 2movie


finding dory and other stuff

I admit, I’m a bad blogger these days.  Perhaps its the summer or perhaps its just a phase of life where I don’t feel inspired to type on a computer screen…who knows.  I don’t feel too bad about it, so that’s good.

I am currently very very excited that a big day has arrived in the Farrell house.  We are taking our boys to their very first movie theatre experience tonight!  We hired a babysitter for Maya because we wanted to be able to really enjoy this outing to see Finding Dory.  All my kids have been obsessed with Finding Nemo at one point or another, and it’s so perfect that their first theatre trip is going to see the sequel.  They already own a few of the new characters- stuffed animal-wise- and a couple sticker books too, so they are well versed in the new names that will be included in Finding Dory.  I’ve already made little treat bags and we even plan on buying popcorn there- even if it’s ridiculously overpriced and terribly unhealthy…they need the whole experience!!

I am also two weeks into our summer and really enjoying it.  Our schedule has not stuck whatsoever but that’s because I didn’t count on the boys sleeping in, so I’m gonna wait another week and see where we land.  The chore/sticker chart however, is grand.  They are almost up to 15 stickers which equals a trip to the store for a toy- it took them about 2 weeks, so I think it’ll work out great for the summer.  We rarely visit stores for toys, but the boys discovered this phenomenon when Bart wisely added that incentive to their dentist visits this year.  So now, they get it.

I am also gearing up to start bullet journaling.  Anyone ever heard of it?  Apparently it’s pretty popular, just ask pinterest or instagram…but I just decided to jump on board- mostly for the habits tracker portion.  I have kept a health journal for the last six months to track each workout, each different diet I try, weight/inches lost, verses and encouragement I receive along this journey to lost 100 pounds and it’s been truly amazing to look back and see the progress so I am inspired to keep track of other things in my life in a similar way.  My journal  arrives today!

I started back up in a book club again and am really enjoying it.  I chose last month’s book and it was a winner- phew!!  Lilac Girls is seriously one of the best books I’ve read in a loooooong time.  It is a WW2 book, but with 3 different women’s perspectives and is unlike any other book from that time period in my opinion.

Our pool is proving to be the best place for us this summer.  I am learning lots of different workouts to use in the water and the kiddos will spend all day out there if we let them.  Last Saturday I think we ate every meal out there and when I took a shower that evening, i literally felt like I was floating.  Perhaps a bit too much time in the pool.  ha!  I finally found a sun hat (it’s this one except blue) that will fit my head (which is large) and even though it’s not a pretty straw hat or an ugly canvas one, it works well enough and I don’t look like a 70 year old tourist in my own pool. Thanking God for the little things.

I am proud to say I finally used my label maker (that I  bought circa 2010) to complete an activity corner for my kiddos.  And this morning I came down from sleeping in (the most glorious part of this summer!) to Josiah and Regan happily playing away with two different bins and even better…when they were done, they put them away without a single reminder.

Ok. Gotta run.  Apparently my daughter has become obsessed with tooth paste and I need to rescue her from whatever happens when one eats too much.  Alas.  Don’t worry, I sent Josi up to stop her while I wrote this last sentence.

fill in the blank friday

1. When I get a day to myself I like to sleep in…drink my coffee without kids climbing on me…head to the beach with a good book or magazine…watch netflix in bed and eat take out. and pie.

2. High school was fun!  I don’t have any regrets- it was easy and holds good memories.

3. A little dream I have is to be able to paint amazing paintings just because.

4. A big dream I have is to lose 70 more pounds.

5. If I could drive any car my pick would be a Subaru legacy…just like my old one.

6. A time that I felt really happy was when our pool opened last weekend and it really felt like summer was beginning.

7. Tomorrow I will be waking up NOT EARLY.  I will be sleeping in because it’s saturday!!!


no alarm life

Oh my heart.  I can’t tell you how good it felt to go to bed last night and not set an alarm.  I definitely took for granted the five years before this last year where I rarely had to set an alarm because at least one of my kids was an alarm for me…however, they are getting to the age where they can be somewhat self-sufficient in the morning for a bit and thus- I can sleep in.

Did you read that last sentence?  I can sleep in.  When I became a mom, I thought I’d never get to sleep in ever again, unless it was on my husband’s dime (aka: if he gave me the morning off).  But the time is here.  I’m gonna live it up this summer and SLEEP IN LIKE A CHAMP.  For reals.

For like a second I thought perhaps I should wake up earlier and have some alone time before our day started, but then I realized I need to relish this one summer because who knows when another baby is gonna come along and then it’ll be at least a few more years before this whole sleep-in thing comes around again.  I AM TAKING MY CHANCE.  Right now.  And I’m gonna enjoy every second of it.

And if you’re wondering how it works- the short story is- our two year old sleeps in til 9am and since her door is locked from the outside, I feel comfortable being asleep until then if I want to.  The boys get up anywhere from 6:30 (only regan sometimes) to 8:30am and can chill by themselves just fine, thus equalling the greatest summer of my life. lol.

I’m already smiling about tomorrow morning.



my first parent report card

I thought I should document how I did this year as a parent, since it was the first time I had a child in school full time.  I should note that only one kid went every day and it was kindergarten so the homework load was pretty light.  My grades might change as the work load gets bigger and the number of children attending increases.

Dress Code: A-  Josiah has a uniform which makes life so much easier in many ways but I’m not a good laundry mom, so I didn’t get a perfect score because he often had to go to school with a little stain.  Also I refused to buy him new pants in the spring, even though his were serious high waters- I just knew he’d get taller by fall and that would be a waste of $.  I’m proud to say, he always wore the correct clothing (gym vs regular) every single day.  Woohoo!

Homework: A  Thankfully Josiah is pretty good at doing his homework on his own, but there were several times I just completely forgot to check his folder and alas…we are not morning people, so nothing gets done then.  I’m not sure what age I will give that responsibility solely to him, but I can’t wait for that day.

Promptness: A+  I am proud of this grade because I like being on time.  I’m shocked to say that I never overslept and we were never late to school- the entire year.  I feel like I should get a prize for that.  This grade also includes permission slips turned in, etc…all on time.  I have a feeling this perfection will never happen again, but a girl can dream.

Volunteering: D  Sadly, this is my lowest score of the year.  I use Maya as my excuse as to why I don’t help out in the classroom much, but truth be told, I’m not sure I’d jump at every chance even if I didn’t have a 3rd kid.  I blame it on my past as a teacher and feeling a little weird being in a classroom again but not being in charge.  Lame.  Then again, there are hundreds of other things I could have volunteered for too.   I helped out with only one party this year- the Thanksgiving one- and that was the one and only time I stepped into Josiah’s classroom to help.  Eek.  I guess there will always be areas to improve upon.  I tell myself that I compensate my terrible service with spoiling my kiddo’s teachers throughout the year, but I’m sure my presence would be more helpful sometimes.

Lunches: B  While I never forgot a lunch (praise Jesus!) I wouldn’t say I gave this my best effort.  I loathe lunch making and thus perhaps overused the hot lunch program…about half way through the year I changed the only Friday hot lunch to Mondays and Fridays and these last two weeks of school have been straight bought lunch.  And when I made lunches I rarely deviated from turkey/cheese sandwiches, apple, crackers and every once in a while something sweeter.  My poor kids.

Attendance: B-  I wavered between a C+ and B-, only because I sometimes just didn’t want to send Josiah to school and therefore, didn’t.  Early in the year I looked up how many absences were allowed (25 is grounds for a grade repeat) and then I kept track on my phone for the entire fall so as to make sure I didn’t use them all up before spring.  Maybe this isn’t something I should admit on the inter webs for everyone to read, but there were days I just didn’t want to put forth the effort.  Thankfully Josiah doesn’t have any fomo (never used that before- mom, it means fear of missing out) so I never had to worry about pressure from him.  Plus he got to sleep in which he loves and his built-in best friend Regan is always up for playing.


Left: September   Right: June


let’s try a summer schedule

I posted this picture on instagram yesterday.


My caption was something about becoming like my mom except she never had stickers.  I’m a little more rewards-based I’d venture to say.  But I vividly remember seeing my mom with her paper and ruler and pencil every year in June…organizing who would do what chores on what days for the following three months.  It was an impressive, exhaustive schedule with perfectly straight lines and reflected much time and effort by my mother.  We had regular weekly chores during the school year but in the summer it was like she freaked out a bit about having us all home, all the days.  (or she never wanted to hear “I’m bored”.  Thankfully my kids don’t know that word yet.)

That’s how I’m feeling a little at the moment.  But for me, it’s not as much about the chores as it is just scheduling life.  I’m horrible at following any schedules unless I’m getting paid to so this is more like a suggested timeline for our summer, but hopefully it’ll keep me from losing my sanity.  My kids are really really good at independent play, but everyone has their limits.  I don’t want to reach those.

Enter: our summer schedule.  It’s not super detailed nor does it change daily.  It involves our pool and the beach for large chunks of time, which makes it much more manageable in my mind.  While I don’t feel the need for summer camps yet, I do think we’ll venture out to a morning vbs or two this year…just to change it up!  And praise Jesus, I have our beloved babysitter coming every Tuesday morning so I have one morning off- you’ll find me with an iced coffee and a book at the beach unless it rains.

While I do like school for my kids, I LOVE when they don’t have school.  I love not having to be anywhere at any certain time.  I love sleeping in.  I love not having to wake my kids up-especially the ones who don’t even attend school yet.  I genuinely do love spending time with them, without a time crunch.  I love not worrying about what time it is, if I have to pick one up, make a lunch, blah blah etc etc etc.

Ask me how this went at the end of the summer, will ya?